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Fall Exhibit Highlights
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

Since 1972 UCI has been home to the pioneering Thesaurus Linguae Graecae® (TLG®) Project, which seeks to create a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature from antiquity to the present era. In recognition of the project’s status as one of the world’s pioneering humanities computing projects, the UCI Libraries have acquired the TLG archive to preserve for the benefit of future scholars. To celebrate this important acquisition, we present our fall exhibit, From Papyrus to Digital: UCI’s Thesaurus of Ancient Greek Texts.

The exhibit first traces the transmission of the Greek text via an array of media–from fragile papyri and stone inscriptions, to codex manuscripts and printed books–that have been used to distribute and preserve Greek texts over the past 3,000 years. Rare books dating from the 16th through the 21st centuries illustrate the range of printing techniques, translations, scholarly apparatus, and artistic interpretation that have been applied to ancient texts over the centuries. Classical authors whose works are represented include philosophers Plato and Aristotle, playwrights Euripides and Aristophanes, the epic poet Homer, the fabulist Aesop, the physician Hippocrates, and others. Also included is copy of the Thesaurus Graecae Linguae, the first comprehensive dictionary of the Greek language, which was published by Henri Estienne (also known as Stephanus) in Geneva in 1572 and served as the inspiration for TLG’s name and concept.

The exhibit next explores how the TLG undertook the monumental task of creating a comprehensive digital library of Greek texts at a time when the necessary technologies did not exist. The central roles played by UCI alumna Marianne McDonald and pioneering computer scientist David Packard are highlighted. A collection of artifacts and publications illustrates the development of the TLG and its technologies, which began at the most basic level of designing the software to store, display, and print letters in the Greek alphabet. Distribution of TLG data to the scholarly community began with keyword-incontext printouts in the 1970s, progressed to CD-ROMs in the mid-1980s, and as of 2000, culminated in today’s globally available web interface. Today, the TLG is an internationally recognized research center. Access to TLG data aids scholarship in a variety of disciplines, including Classics, Ancient and Byzantine History, Linguistics, and Religious Studies.

Maria Pantelia, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Director and Professor of Classics, served as curator. She has published and lectured extensively on ancient Greek literature and the application of digital technologies in Humanities research and pedagogy.

From Papyrus to Digital opens on November 9th and will remain on view through April 2005.

For information about the opening event, please contact Julie Sully, Associate Director of Development (jsully@uci.edu or x44658).

For more details about the exhibit itself, contact Jackie Dooley, Head of Special Collections and Archives (jmdooley@uci.edu or x44935).


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